THE RADIATORS - Wild & Free (2008)
Above all else, The Radiators are a gig band. Blues, no doubt; Cajun, yes, swamp-boogie, absolutely: a mix of guitar-driven swamp vibe meets formula-driven, but distinctive, rock and roll. Whatever you want is all there — The Radiators' musical stew — as befits a true home grown New Orleans band. In some ways they are like their grander musical cousin, Credence Clearwater Revival; they excel at everything, and so don't stand out in any one area. As Springsteen said about Credence, "they weren't the coolest, just the best." The Radiators aren't the best, just the coolest, but only when you hear them live. Put them in the studio and they cut a distinct groove, indeed. But it's being on the road — in front of people, performing against the hum and jangle of a local bar or dive — that makes The Radiators one of the great, if not greatly known, bands of our time. 1987's Law of the Fish is, by consensus, their best studio work. But their truly great work, what you pay the price of admission for, is, well, what you pay the price of admission for: to see them and hear them. Other than The Grateful Dead — surely the most self-indulgent rock band of our time — The Radiators represent perhaps the largest chasm between the live versus the playback experience. Live is better, and with The Radiators it's not even close. Which is why Radz Records has done all of us a favor by releasing the two-disc Wild & Free, 28 songs that represent special performances, mostly in front of crowds, of some of The Radiators' best work. A few of the songs are previously unreleased, and two new tunes — "Where Was You At?" and "Girl With the Golden Eyes" — were written especially for the release. But buy Wild & Free for its many live performance pleasures; everything else is thrown in just for good measure. - blogcritics.org
DISC 1: 01. Wild and Free 02. House of Blue Lights 03. Suck the Head 04. Oh Beautiful Loser 05. Love Trouble 06. Where Was You At 07. My Home is on the Border 08. Like Dreamers Do 09. Fever Dream 10. Hard Core 11. Cupid's Got a Mighty Arrow 12. Where The Green Arrow Goes 13. Songs from the Ancient Furnace
DISC 2: 01. Girl with the Golden Eyes 02. Hard Time Train 03. Have a Little Mercy 04. One-Eyed Jack 05. Doctor Doctor 06. Forever Man 07. Strangers 08. Stand By Me, Baby 09. When Her Snake Eyes Roll 10. All Meat 11. Hard Rock Kid 12. My Last Getaway 13. Tear My Eyes Out 14. King Solomon Don't Mind 15. Red Dress
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